Run Hard, Run Fast, Have Fun.

Those were my goals for my first competitive 5K today. I’ve done a 10K, a half marathon, and lots of road running not really training for anything, but today was my first actual timed 5K.

Since I started training with an actual running coach, everything about running has been different. The how (yes, I still put my shoes and clothes on. . but the how is VERY different!), the why–I was definitely a stress-runner before, I ran for ME, to get the stress out and to be able to clear my head, and when training, you have to pay attention– were just very different. That’s training vs running I guess!

So all week, I’ve been worried about this race. What should it feel like? How fast should I run? How fast COULD I run? Was it going to rain? Was I going to be the slowest one with the team of athletes that my coach is training? Not having done a 5K, I had nothing to compare to. Nada. So therefore, bring on the anxiety!

What did I learn? 5Ks are hard. Probably won’t be my go-to race! I ran hard. I ran faster than I’ve every ran in my life.  I had fun!! It wasn’t raining which was SO good. I finished strong. When I turned the corner at mile 3 and could see the finish line all I could think was “I just want to be DONE!” I managed to dig deep and find some energy to pick it up the last 0.25 or so miles. I averaged a 8:25 pace, and finished in 25:58!! The first mile was 8:15 pace. EIGHT FIFTEEN! Wow.

According to my coach, this was the “pre-test” for winter training.  After taking off 4 months after being injured and just starting to run with Nick and Tranbarger Training Systems in September, I’m feeling pretty excited about what the next few months are going to bring. I knew if I did well today my workouts for the next few months will be hard. I want them to be hard. I want to push myself and finish the Mini in May under 2 hours. That is a lofty goal, and one that I will have to continue to work hard to accomplish.

For today, I’m thrilled with my 3rd place overall female finish, and PR of 25:58 for a 5K and 8:16 for a mile. As Nick likes to say. . “Onward and Upward” It’s only going to get better from here!

St. Nikolaus Lauf 5K Downtown Indianapolis, IN at the Athenaeum.
St. Nikolaus Lauf 5K Downtown Indianapolis, IN at the Athenaeum.

October Training Recap

So wow! October is over! How did that happen!?

October was a very crazy month. At the end of September, I was “over-training”. I am still coming back from my injury, and accidentally apparently told my coach I was ” running 5-6 days a week”  when in reality that is what I wanted to be running, not where I was currently! Oops.

By week 4 of September, my everything hurt. Knees, hips, IT band, ankle, feet, ALL of it. And I’m not a complainer, really. But when it got to the point where I texted my coach and was like “yeah, I’m done, all my everything hurts” , he said “Yeah. . not supposed to be this way at week 4ish of training!! So I went from running 6 days a week down to 5 (wow an extra rest day makes a TON of difference!) and he decreased my mileage.

Fast forward to middle of October. I am still shocked at how many miles I’m getting in. And it’s only October. At this stage of the game, I’m building a base, and really not doing any speed work, but everything is still HR based. While at a friend’s house in Illinois, I realized I’d forgotten my HRM. As luck may have it, she had an extra!! WEEE! It was a hard Polar strap. Off I went wearing her Polar strap, and 2 watches.  . in the coolest weather I’d run in so far this year. It was AWESOME!! Can’t believe how much my erratic HRM was effecting my run!!  Needless to say, as soon as I got home,  I Amazon’d a new HARD Garmin strap. Works like a charm. Seriously. So awesome. Has taken a huge stress off my running.

The very last week of October, my Aunt was killed in a combine vs truck crash. She was the driver of the truck. Her husband was in the truck next to her, and not a scratch was on him. Also, I had  a HUGE deadline at work.  . . . .the kind of deadline if you don’t meet it.  .you will not have to worry about work any more. This was actually the day after my Aunt was killed. Needless to say, it was great to be able to get out and run that week. Let some of the stress out and get some endorphins!!

I’m looking forward to a winter of training. A little worried that I’m going to hate the treadmill more than I thought possible. . .but otherwise looking forward to a new spin on things as being coached by someone else will have. Also, I will be doing a 5k on December 2nd. .so think of me that day if you can!!

Mileage Recap for the last few months is below. Crazy for me to think I had zero miles in June, and now by November I’m almost at 80 miles in a month. Woah. And Nick of Tranbarger Training Systems is telling me the blue bars are just going to get taller. . .

For real! Look at those numbers!!
For real! Look at those numbers!!

Week 3 Training Recap

Week 3 was rough. Not so much physically, but mentally.  I did almost 17 miles again. I was feeling like 6 days a week is a lot of time, and then thinking about doing this for the next 9 months. . . was a lot. There is also a TON of stuff going on with my job right now, which is making it hard at home with a crazy schedule and a lot of additional work that I don’t usually have to do.

I started to realize that the kind of running I’m doing now is different in a few ways. It’s “active” running. Before, when I was ready to go out on a run, I put my headphones in, thought about how far I was going to go, about how long it would take me, and off I went. As I was running, I wasn’t thinking. I was totally zoned out, and thinking about life, the grocery list, what meetings I had tomorrow, how the kids were doing in school, etc. Not about what my body was doing while I was running. Now, I have to think about what my body is doing, how I’m feeling, where my HR is, etc. It’s a much more active process. I can’t just “click off” my brain. When I do that, I find that I’m not paying attention to what my body is doing. .I just start going and look down and then I have to catch up. Not good. So learning how to run “actively” is interesting.

My right kneecap (the top) is starting to ache. I’m fairly certain after a couple of runs paying close attention; that it’s my shoes. I need a 2nd pair of shoes. I might go and try some on this weekend, and try to decide if I’m going to stick with the Asics  Tri Noosa 8s (they are still available on Amazon. .I would then have THREE pairs of the same shoe lol!) or do I want to try the Tri Noosa 9s or something totally different?

Those are some of the things I thought about last week. Stay tuned for the Week 4 update!

Week 2 Training Recap!

Week 2 is complete! I ran 16.95 miles (can I please round up to 17?!) and ran 6 days this week. I’m very glad today is a rest day!!

I finally figured out the heart rate monitor thing. PSA to all girls with larger breasts (and the bras to go with them): The HRM goes physically UNDER your bra. Not below it. I had been wearing it actually below the band on my bra. . apparently the correct placement is directly under the girls. I’ve had much better luck now after I moved it up, and then adding some electrode conductivity gel. SO much better readings! Here are all the things I had tried PRIOR to moving it up under the bra:

  • Electrode gel
  • New battery (it’s less than a year old and Garmin says it should last 2 years)
  • Updating the firmwear on my Garmin 220
  • Wetting down my shirt (in case it was static caused by my “performance fabric” aka non-cotton workout wear)
  • Swapping to a Polar HR strap I had laying around.
  • Washing the strap (even though I’d washed it less than a week ago)
  • Super soaking my HR strap before I used it

**most of these tips I found from DC Rainmaker. . one of the “web gurus” on all things training gear related. Here is the link to his original post on this: Troubleshooting your Heart Rate Monitor

Here is what “bad” looks like:

Bad HR data at Garmin Connect
Bad HR Data on Garmin Connect

And here is what “good” looks like:

Good HR Data on Garmin Connect
Good HR Data on Garmin Connect


I’m training with Nick from Tranbarger Training Systems. He also trains triathletes, not just runners. His plan is a bit different than I had been doing when I was training on my own. I’m trying to get used to the “new normal” of this type of training. I’m sure as the workouts get more challenging I will look back at these 2 build weeks and laugh. . and wish for them to repeat! So far so good though.

Other stuff going on this week: I went to the doctor Friday. I’ve been having some left upper quadrant abdominal pain after eating for about the last 3 weeks. It was getting to the point I couldn’t let it go any more. My Dr did labs, xrays and scheduled an ultrasound for next week. I’m hoping it’s something simple, and not something  more complicated like gallbladder or ulcer. I will NOT be happy if I have to abandon my training because I have to have my gallbladder out! Or if my mesh from a previous abdominal surgery has moved and it has to be removed. Seriously, not happy. Please send no surgery vibes!!

We went as a family to a wedding on Saturday, after the kids had early morning football. It was a good day, but the kids were pretty tired by 9pm, so I took them and went home a bit early. Did I mention I’m so glad today is a rest day? I will be meal planning, grocery shopping and doing laundry. Ahh, all the glam work of a Mom :)!

Week 1 Training Recap.

I survived Week 1!! Yay!

14 miles complete this week, 6 days of running.

Things I need to work on:

•Writing the calendar down or printing it out. So I look at it before each run. I ended up shorting myself a mile on Saturday because I didn’t look at the calendar before I went to run. Oops. I think I’m going to put a calendar with my training schedule on our bathroom mirror where I can easily see what I’ve done and check off the workouts as they are complete(who doesn’t love to mark things off a list!)!

• To be helpful, technology must work. My Garmin is awesome. However, it’s never accurate for me on the treadmill. I think I need a footpod, it may be because my stride is short due to the fact I have a 27 inch inseam. Also, my HRM is acting crazy. I know while running a 11:45 mile, that my HR is not 70. I’m no Lance Armstrong!! Going today to get a new battery and some conductivity gel and hoping that fixes the problem.

•Trying to restructure an old habit (as opposed to starting a new one) is harder when you are away from home. Traveling for work is hard enough. Traveling out of the country, and trying to start a new habit while working is not fun either. Now that I’m home. . I have to start a new routine again!!

• I like knowing I have to be accountable to someone. Nick is making me log all my runs at I’ve never used this system, and am still getting used to it. But the fact I have to account for each run makes it easier to get motivated to do them!

•I still love running a lot and I’m so glad I’ve been able to get back into it after my injury. When I was injured, I was really afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to run the way I wanted again. I didn’t know if there would be any lasting tendon/ligament issues. Thankfully, so far it’s going well!!

Looking forward to what the next few weeks will bring. I’m in the “aerobic build” phase of training. . I think that is fancy-talk for “going easy on me in the beginning” !

A Goal, and a Plan.

After this year was not as successful as I wanted it to be with running due to my injury, I’ve decided to set a pretty high goal for next year.

I want to run a spring half in under 2 hours.

My first half marathon last November was awesome. I loved every second of it. Had a great time, and felt fantastic the whole way. Never felt like I was really going “all out”, but I was also running with a friend. Fast forward to this year, where I was hoping to run at least 2, possibly 4 halfs and gradually decrease my time (on my own. . with some training plans I had found thru Google). After being injured, the only race I’ve done was a 5k with family a few weeks ago.

I have signed up with a running coach, who also happens to be a friend. He is an awesome triathlete, smart, and also happens to have a kinesiology degree. I’m a little bit nervous about running five to six days a week, that’s a lot of time with 2 kids and a full time job and all the other things that “life” requires. But having a coach gives me accountability, and someone to guide me where before I was just running to run.

So that’s what I will be doing for the next 9 months. And instead of an adorable tiny human at the end, I will get to say I ran a half marathon in under 2 hours!!!

I’m going to try to blog and talk about what I’m doing and how it’s going so if nothing else, I can have a log for me of how my training went and what I learned.

Surf’s Up VoxBox!

I was again chosen to participate in the VoxBox program at Influenster! It’s a lot of fun, and a nice way to try new products.

This box had some fun summer products in it, including things from Hawaiian Tropic, Jamba, Not Your Mother’s and SinfulColors. The box smelled like summer as soon as I opened it!
Surf's Up VoxBox! I put both the Hawaiian Tropic lotion and the Not Your Mother’s in my gym bag. Both worked great, and I smelled like summer for the rest of my workday with the Hawaiian Tropic!

I painted my nails with the Sinful Colors polish, and was very pleased with how long it lasted!! There is also a nice sublte shimmer that you can’t see in above picture to the polish. Love it!

Thanks again Influenster for letting me try out these products!

Things I’ve been good at. And not so good at this year.

So when I was running  a lot, I was excited about blogging. And running some awesome races with some awesome people. The Indianapolis Mini Marathon (my 2nd half marathon) and the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay. SO EXCITED.

Then this happened.


That’s my ugly ankle. I twisted it and ended up with a grade 3 sprain while on a work trip in Chicago.

I’m still doing physical therapy three times a week. Still no running. This happened at the beginning of April. It’s basically June. Injuries suck.

So what have I been doing?? I have started an Advocare 24 Day Challenge, that I’m in the third week of! I will post a review and before/after pics later this week.

Workout wise, I’m stuck with kettelbells, spin, the elliptical, and other non-impact things. Which is not the same as running. Really. I get the endorphins, but I don’t get the unwinding of my brain that comes from a good run.

Oh. And work has just been insanely busy.

That’s what has been going on in my neck of the woods. What’t been going on with you guys?

Birthday Week!

I had a great week for my birthday. 31 years young!!


Monday, I did 3 miles of treadmill sprints. One min of dead sprint, 45 seconds rest, repeat for 2 miles. Then a cool down mile. It was a great workout.

Tuesday, I did BootCamp class at the Y. It was a nice change from my normal, and is a great mix of strength and cardio.

Wed I went for a lunch field trip with a friend, to break in my new birthday present.

Thursday, we got a new kitchen table and chairs delivered, and I took a 3 mile run outside.

I absolutely love these running tights from Target. I should have bought 3 pairs. I have not been able to find any that fit as well as these. 20140301_130709Today, I did Strictly Strength class.

Tomorrow I’m volunteering with the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank collection event. They are the only and largest bank of healthy breast tissue with matched serum and DNA in the world. They use this bank to provide access to tissues to researchers who want to find out more about breast tissue. Click the link to find out more!

I’m hoping to get my training plan down on paper for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I will be running this on May 3rd, my second half marathon. I’m hoping to break 2:15, but if I can finish under 2:30 again, I will be pleased with that.

What spring races are you all gearing up for?


Two Weeks in Review.

So..I missed the ball on this one last week. Oops.

I will give you the last couple of weeks reviews, and my summary for February!

The week of the 17th was awesome. Three runs, and strength class. Whew!

The week of Feb 24th  I was sick. Fever, sore throat, body aches. Started on Sunday the 23rd, and I did not really feel myself until Friday of this week. I took from the 22nd until the 25th off. I probably over did it a bit.

Once again, Lora over at Crazy Running Girl had a post about “Should We Run When We’re Sick?” right on time with when I was feeling like crap. Here is the link if you’d like to know her take on it as well. I think she is right on with her “don’t run if you have a fever, body aches, feel really bad” statement. And the “Head Rule” she mentions is good as well.

I will be honest. I’m not one to lay down and do nothing, especially since there is always SOMETHING that needs done–laundry, dishes, picking up toys, vacuuming, etc, but Sunday I laid down on the couch. My husband came over and asked me “Are you OK??” See above. I never lay down! Anyway, I had a fever from Sat-Monday. It was no good. I’m glad I took those days off to rest and let my body heal.

So…Final tally of miles for February!?

31.1 miles. (0.7 of those were on the elliptical, but the rest were runs). I’ve not done over 30 miles in a month since November (and really, I don’t think that should count as 13 of those were my half marathon) so really, more like October. Felt great. My IT band has been fussing a little bit, but nothing a foam roller can’t fix!